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The Spice Pantry

The Spice Pantry

For each spice in the Williams-Sonoma spice collection, we include the flavor profile, simple ways to use the spice in your own kitchen, and suggestions for substituting the spice for other seasonings called for in recipes.

African Curry
A complex blend of vibrant, spicy flavors with tangy hints of citrus; mild heat.
Perfect for chicken, shellfish and vegetable curries; also seasons vegetable dips and steamed rice.
Use instead of other curry powders, paprika or turmeric.

Rancho Chili Powder
Hearty, mildly hot flavor with a complex fruity sweetness.
Ideal for moles, burritos, fajitas and chili; or sprinkle on roasted sweet potatoes.
Use instead of chili powder or black pepper, or in place of salt to add a spicy kick.

Annatto Seed
Subtle, earthy flavor with a hint of peppery sweetness; delicate nutmeg-like aroma.
After grinding, add to rice or risotto to lend mild flavor and a rich, reddish-gold hue.
Use instead of paprika or chili powder.

Bay Seafood Seasoning
Fragrant herbs, spices and sea salt, custom-blended to enhance fish and shellfish.
A classic American seasoning for seafood—from grilling and panfrying to soups and stews.
Use instead of seasoning salt.

Black Mustard Seed
Pungent, spicy flavor with deep floral aroma and a vibrant peppery finish.
Use whole seeds for pickled vegetables, curries and stir-fries; ground seeds are great in salads.
Use instead of Chinese five spice, chili powder or cayenne pepper.

Black Sesame Seeds
Sweet, nutty and buttery, with a more concentrated sesame flavor than lighter sesame seeds.
Add to homemade breads and crackers; use as a garnish for stir-fries, rice dishes, salads and sushi; sprinkle over fresh fruit.
Use instead of regular sesame seeds.

Blood Orange Peel
Fragrantly floral with deep citrus flavor and aroma.
Use in baking to add citrus flavor and a little texture to cakes, cookies, muffins and scones; sprinkle over cocktails and smoothies.
Use instead of fresh orange or other citrus peels.

California Chili Powder
Rich, peppery flavor with a hint of tanginess and mild, spicy heat.
Great for Mexican and Southwestern dishes; or sprinkle over popcorn and scrambled eggs.
Use instead of cumin, coriander, chili powder or cayenne pepper.

Chili Seasoning
Lively, complex flavor with savory hints of smoke, citrus and pepper; mild heat.
A classic addition to your signature chili; also great for polenta, grits and grilled meats.
Use instead of paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes or black pepper, or in place of salt to add a spicy kick.

Chinese Five Spice
An aromatic spice blend showcasing sweet, tangy, bitter and savory flavors.
Adds distinctive flavor to everything from roast meats and poultry to soups and stir-fries.
Use instead of seasoning salt for marinades and rubs, or add a pinch to sugar and use for grilled fruits, such as pineapple and peaches.

Citric Acid
A natural preservative that adds a bright acidic, or sour, tang to foods and soft drinks.
Blend into dressings and marinades for tartness, and into baked goods when extra liquid can't be added.
Use in place of fresh lemon juice to prevent fruits and vegetables from browning.

Cloves
Intense spicy flavor and aroma with sweet, vibrant heat.
Enlivens everything from baked ham and mulled wine to fruit compotes and preserves.
Use a small amount instead of allspice or cinnamon.

Coarse Ground Brown Mustard Seed
Spicy and strong, with a vibrant mustard flavor and pronounced heat.
Add to curries and stir-fries; mix into mayonnaise and create a tangy dressing for potato salad.
Use instead of coarsely ground black or other pepper for unique heat and bite.

Coarse Madras Curry Blend
Hot and spicy with distinct floral notes and a subtle sweetness. Coarse ground delivers stronger flavors than finely ground curries.
Mix a small amount into chicken or egg salad; add to the filling for deviled eggs; use to spice up classic curries.
Use instead of other curry powder, paprika or turmeric.

Crushed Aleppo Chili
Complex fruity flavor with a subtle, tangy-sweet finish; moderate heat.
A vibrant seasoning for chili and beef stews; sprinkle the crushed chili on pizza and pasta.
Use instead of red pepper flakes, chili powder, cayenne pepper or black pepper.

Crushed Chipotle Chili
Smoked, dried jalapeño pepper flakes with rich, earthy flavor and mellow heat.
Sprinkle over everything from fajitas, pizzas and salads to homemade potato chips and fries.
Use instead of chili powder or black pepper, or in place of salt to add a spicy kick.

Curing Salt
Savory salt blend for making classic artisan-cured meats.
Use for curing sausage, bacon, ham and jerky, as well as game meats, poultry and seafood.
Use instead of salt for cured meats.

Extra-Fine French Grey Sea Salt
Moist, delicate crystals with rich ocean flavor, highlighted by subtle mineral and floral notes.
An all-purpose finishing salt for vegetables, meats, poultry, seafood, breads and desserts.
Use instead of other salts for finishing dishes.

Fennel Seed
Delicate, refreshing licorice flavor and aroma, reminiscent of anise.
A classic spice for everything from cured meats, seafood and pickles to whole grain breads.
Use instead of ground fennel or dill.

French Lavender
Fragrant lavender buds have a delicate floral flavor with refreshing hints of mint and citrus.
Adds Provençal flavor to everything from meats, salads and sauces to desserts and beverages.
Use instead of thyme in sweet or savory dishes.

Galangal Powder
Exotic and gingery with a peppery, mustard-like flavor and a hint of bright tanginess.
Add to curry pastes, stir-fries and marinades; use in chicken soup for an Asian accent.
Use instead of any fresh or dried ginger.

Garam Masala
A harmonious blend of peppery, spicy-sweet Indian flavors; mild heat.
Adds spicy warmth to curries, sauces, roasted vegetables, grilled meats and kabobs.
Use instead of curry powder, paprika or turmeric.

Granulated Honey
Delicate natural sweetness with subtle notes of wildflowers and herbs.
Sweetens everything from baked goods and cereals to your favorite beverages.
Use instead of sugar, sugar substitutes or honey.

Greek Oregano
Aromatic and warm, with an intense, slightly bitter flavor.
Enhances meat marinades, soups and stews; sprinkle over pizzas and Greek salads; add to sauces that accompany fish or meat dishes.
Use instead of fresh or dried regular oregano.

Green Cardamom Pods
Intense aroma and warm, spicy sweetness with hints of ginger, nutmeg and pepper.
Use whole pods for chai; sprinkle the ground spice on oatmeal and hot chocolate.
Use instead of cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves.

Ground Fenugreek
Distinctive flavor often described as a combination of pleasant bitterness and delicate sweetness.
Traditionally used for Indian curries and pickles; also enhances creamy salad dressings.
Use instead of fennel seed, ground fennel or dill.

Ground Szechuan Pepper
Mildly hot flavor with subtle notes of citrus and woodsy spice.
Adds distinctive flavor to a variety of Asian dishes, from stir-fries to soups and braises.
Use instead of Chinese five spice, chili powder, black pepper or cayenne pepper.

Ground Tahitian Vanilla Bean
Rich floral aroma and smooth flavor, with hints of cherry and chocolate.
Lends visual appeal and flavor to ice cream and baked goods; stir into coffee, tea and yogurt.
Use instead of vanilla extract or whole vanilla beans.

Gumbo Filé
Woodsy, herbal sassafras and thyme flavors, with delicate tangy and peppery notes.
A traditional thickener for Cajun and Creole gumbos; also enhances seafood dishes and marinades.
Use instead of seasoning salt for marinades and rubs, or in place of Old Bay Seasoning for seafood dishes.

Harissa Spice
Classic Tunisian spice blend with vibrant, peppery flavor and bold, smoky heat.
Creates a spicy rub for roasted and grilled meats; or blend with mayonnaise for sandwiches.
Use instead of cumin, coriander, chili powder or cayenne pepper.

Herbes de Provence Sea Salt
Premium French sel gris with a classic medley of fragrant Provençal herbs.
Enhances everything from meats and poultry to soups, vinaigrettes and sauces.
Use instead of seasoning salt or other herbs, including oregano, basil, thyme and marjoram.

Hickory-Smoked Sea Salt
Delicate flakes of premium Pacific sea salt, naturally smoked over fragrant hickory wood fires.
Adds rich, smoky flavor to meats, poultry and salmon; delicious sprinkled on popcorn and French fries.
Use instead of seasoning salt.

Hot Curry
Aromatic seasoning blend with sweet, spicy Indian flavor; moderate heat.
Complements all types of curry dishes; adds spicy appeal to chicken salad, deviled eggs and egg salads.
Use instead of other curry powders, paprika or turmeric.

Hungarian Paprika
Sweet, gently spicy flavor with rich, peppery highlights and a hint of tanginess.
The signature spice for goulash; also complements meats, vegetables, potatoes, rice and pasta.
Use instead of curry powder, chili powder or other paprika.

Japanese Curry
Classic Japanese-style curry blend with complex character, delicate sweetness and mild heat.
Traditionally used for Japanese curries and noodles; or add to creamy potato salads and dips.
Use instead of other curry powders, paprika or turmeric.

Juniper Berries
Aromatic berries with a spicy evergreen flavor balanced by floral and woodsy notes.
A classic spice for salmon, beef, pork, lamb and venison; use in marinades and brines.
Use instead of whole cloves in brines and marinades.

Lemon Herb Seasoning
Traditional blend of tangy citrus, fragrant herbs and savory spices.
Use as a substitute for salt on vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood.
Use instead of seasoning salt.

Lime Peel
Refreshing aroma and bright, tangy flavor.
Stir into honey-sweetened yogurt; add to marinades, dressings, salsas and guacamole; sprinkle over cocktails and smoothies.
Use instead of dried lime peel.

Madras Curry
Southern Indian–style spice blend with rich complexity, toasty sweetness and mild heat.
Enhances any curry dish, from beef, pork and lamb to chicken, shellfish and vegetable varieties.
Use instead of other curry powders, paprika or turmeric.

Malt Vinegar Sea Salt
Classic, British-inspired blend of tangy malt vinegar and savory sea salt.
The ultimate seasoning for fish-and-chips and other fried seafood; also great on popcorn.
Use instead of seasoning salt.

Mexican Oregano
Intense herbal aroma and bold flavor, with hints of anise and sage.
Perfect for seasoning spicy burrito and taco fillings, bean dishes, vegetables and salsas.
Use instead of oregano or marjoram.

Meyer Lemon Peel
A delicate citrus flavor with hints of honey and thyme; more mild and sweet than regular lemons.
Add to cookies, cakes and pancakes; use in marinades, especially for pork and poultry; sprinkle over cocktails and smoothies.
Use instead of lemon zest.

New Mexico Chili Powder
Robust, earthy flavor with hints of smoky sweetness; moderate heat.
Traditionally used for enchiladas and salsas; or include in a spice rub for grilled meats.
Use instead of chili powder, red pepper flakes or black pepper, or in place of salt to add a spicy kick.

Nutmeg
Rich aroma and warm, slightly sweet flavor with delicate floral notes.
Grind and use for baking and eggnog; also enhances cream sauces, quiches and soufflés.
Use a small amount instead of cinnamon or cardamom.

Pickling Spices
Classic English blend of aromatic pickling spices with a savory tang and a hint of zesty heat.
Add to brines for pickles, wild game and poultry; also enhances chutneys and infused vinegars.
Use in brines instead of juniper berries, black peppercorns or dill seed.

Pizza Seasoning
Aromatic Mediterranean seasoning blend with rich herbal notes and a hint of peppery spice.
Sprinkle on pizza, focaccia and flatbread before baking, or to enhance any Mediterranean dish.
Use instead of seasoning salt or Italian herbs, including oregano, basil, thyme and marjoram.

Poppy Seed
Delicate nutty flavor with a mild tanginess and subtle floral notes.
Enhances everything from cakes, pastries and breads to vegetables, noodles and salads.
Use instead of mustard seed, fennel seed or caraway seed.

Pure Maple Flakes
Sweet yet intense maple syrup flavor, with buttery caramel notes.
Mix into yogurt, cereal, oatmeal and granola; add to muffins, biscuits, cakes, cookies and other baked goods.
Use instead of sugar, sugar substitutes or honey.

Ras el Hanout
Traditional Moroccan spice blend with a rich, spicy aroma and robust, complex flavors.
Seasons chicken and fish before panfrying, grilling or baking; enhances tagines and couscous dishes.
Use instead of Chinese five spice, garam masala, chili powder or seasoning salt.

Roasted Garlic Powder
Light toasting brings out garlic’s mellow richness and caramelized taste, with a slightly sweet depth of flavor.
Add to melted butter or olive oil for garlic bread; stir into pasta sauces, soups, stews, chili and marinades; sprinkle over grilled meats and vegetables.
Use instead of minced fresh garlic.

Roasted Ground Coriander
Delicate flavor reminiscent of citrus peel and sage, with a toasted, rich nutty aroma and taste.
Stir into soups, broths and meat marinades; sprinkle into pancake and waffle batters, and over sautéed spinach and other vegetables.
Use instead of regular coriander.

Saigon Cinnamon
Exceptionally fragrant, with warm, spicy-sweet flavors and delicate floral notes.
Ideal for all types of cooking and baking; a signature spice for phở, a classic Vietnamese soup.
Use instead of cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom.

Smoked Bittersweet Paprika
Lightly smoked, with balanced heat and sweetness, plus deep earthy flavors and aromas; Spain’s most popular paprika.
Essential for classic paella and other Spanish dishes; mix with salt and pepper and rub onto pork or beef before cooking; blend into chili and salsas.
Use instead of sweet or spicy paprika.

Smoked Coarse Ground Pepper
Smoky with a hint of spicy heat and black pepper floral notes.
Add to chili, tacos, burritos and quesadillas; sprinkle over scrambled eggs, popcorn, salads and soups.
Use instead of cumin, coriander, chili powder or cayenne pepper.

Smoked Picante Paprika
Made from roasted chili peppers; deep ruby-red color, rich smoky flavor and pronounced heat.
Spices up homemade chorizo, tomato sauces, soups, chili and salsas; sprinkle over egg dishes.
Use instead of spicy paprika or ground chipotle peppers.

Smoked Serrano Chili Powder
Vibrant, spicy flavor with smoky complexity; significant heat.
Spices up stews, salsas, egg dishes and chili; or use to season fillings for jalapeño poppers.
Use instead of chili powder or black pepper, or in place of salt to add a spicy kick.

Smoked Sweet Paprika
Made from smoked dried red bell peppers; lends vibrant color and sweet flavor with a subtle smokiness.
Use in spice rubs for lamb and beef and to season egg dishes; mix with mayonnaise for a smoky sandwich spread; sprinkle on finished dishes for a bright garnish.
Use instead of unsmoked sweet paprika.

Soup Base Seasoning
European-style medley of aromatic herbs and spices, custom-blended for soups.
Enhances soups, stews, braises and sauces; use as a spice rub for meats and poultry.
Use instead of seasoning salt or other herbs, including oregano, basil, thyme and marjoram.

Star Anise
Spicy licorice flavor and aroma, with sweet hints of cinnamon and clove.
Adds warm, spicy flavor to everything from soups and baked goods to poached fruits.
Use instead of whole cloves or cinnamon sticks.

Sumac
Refreshing bright, fruity flavor with natural hints of tangy citrus and savory salt.
Ideal for marinades or as a rub for grilled beef, lamb and chicken; sprinkle on hummus and salads.
Use instead of lemon zest or lemon pepper.

Summer Savory
A member of the mint family with a piquant herbal flavor, reminiscent of a cross between sage and thyme.
Enhances soups, sauces, marinades, stuffings and bean dishes; add to a bouquet garni instead of or alongside thyme.
Use instead of sage or thyme.

Sun-Dried Tomato Flakes
Intensly fragrant, with tangy-sweet flavor and vibrant ruby-red color.
Adds color and depth to sauces, soups, stews and chili; enhances homemade breads and pizzas; mix with olive oil and pepper for a unique bread-dipping oil.
Use instead of tomatoes or tomato paste.

Sweet Basil
Bright taste that evokes the spicy sweetness of anise, clove and mint.
Add to soups, pasta sauces, pizzas and stir-fries; mix with olive oil for a delicious dipping oil.
Use instead of fresh basil.

Tagine Spice
Traditional Moroccan blend with a complex balance of sweet, spicy, savory and herbal flavors.
Authentic addition to any tagine; enhances grilled meats, soups, stews, sauces and braises.
Use instead of Chinese five spice, garam masala, chili powder or seasoning salt.

Tandoori Spice
A fragrant Indian blend of over a dozen seasonings for complex, spicy flavor.
For traditional tandoori meats, poultry and seafood, cooked in the oven or on the grill.
Use instead of Chinese five spice, garam masala, chili powder or seasoning salt.

Toasted Ground Cumin Seed
Spicy with smoky overtones; hotter in taste and lighter in color than regular cumin.
Add to stews, soups, curries and chili; blend into salsas and guacamole.
Use instead of regular cumin.

Toasted Onion Powder
Sweet and complex, with a delicate pungency.
Add a dash to pasta cooking water; use to season grilled meats, soups, chili, stews, marinades and mayonnaise.
Use instead of minced fresh onion.

Turkish Bay Leaves
Much milder and more complex flavor than that of domestic bay leaves, with a delicate, tangy sweetness.
Season roast meats; add to marinades, sauces, soups and stews, and to cooking water for potatoes or noodles.
Use instead of dried domestic bay leaves.

Turmeric
Prized for its rich golden hue and pungent flavor with delicate herbal notes.
For Indian and Southeast Asian recipes, including curries, soups, rice, vegetables and lentils.
Use instead of saffron or curry powder.

Vadouvan Curry
Mild Indian curry blend with a sweet, delicate complexity and a hint of tangy spice.
For French-style chicken, shellfish and vegetable curries; also great for dips and steamed rice.
Use instead of other curry powders, paprika or chili powder.

Vindaloo Curry
A complex, sweet-and-tangy spice blend with a bright, peppery finish; moderate heat.
The signature blend for vindaloo chicken or lamb curry; also great for rice, orzo and couscous.
Use instead of other curry powders, paprika or turmeric.

Whole Thyme Leaves
Slightly minty and herbaceous in flavor, with sweet and citrus notes.
Sprinkle over meats and vegetables before roasting; add to soups, sauces and egg dishes.
Use instead of fresh thyme leaves.

Wild Porcini Sea Salt
Premium sea salt with the rich, earthy flavor and aroma of wild porcini mushrooms.
Adds savory character to everything from meats and poultry to soups, risottos and omelets.
Use instead of seasoning salt.

Zahtar
Lively herbal, earthy flavors with delicate sweet and salty notes.
Enlivens grilled or roasted meats and vegetables; sprinkle on pizza and flatbread before baking.
Use instead of Chinese five spice, garam masala, chili powder or seasoning salt.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Companion, (Time-Life Books, 2000).